How to Become a Certified Krav Maga Instructor

If you’re reading this, I imagine you have a desire to spread the positive benefits of Krav Maga to your local community and help make the world a safer place. Teaching Krav Maga is incredibly rewarding, whether you do so as a full-time profession or just out of passion in your spare time.

People from many different backgrounds end up becoming Krav Maga instructors, but the uniting factor is their desire to teach and uplift others.

Please read on to find out how you can become a Krav Maga Instructor!

Are you a martial arts school owner, a black belt in a different style, a Krav Maga student, a gym owner, personal trainer, law-enforcement person, have a career in the military, or in some other similar situation? If so, you’re already more prepared to learn and then teach Krav Maga.

Below, I outline the basic steps you need to take to become a legitimately certified and qualified instructor of Israeli Krav Maga.

The GMAU Krav Maga Instructor Certification program seal.
The Global Martial Arts University, the leader in online martial arts training,
is a great place to certify as a Krav Maga instructor.

The Path to Krav Maga Instructor Certification

Step 1 – Become a Krav Maga Student

This is the essential, obvious first step.

Some martial-arts associations claim you can simply attend a short seminar or training session to become an instructor without first being a student. To have credibility and properly serve and meet students’ needs, however, you should be proficient in the martial-art style you teach.

Of course, if you’re an experienced martial artist and hold a high rank and proficiency in a similar combative self-defense system or other fighting style, you can probably take an accelerated path to becoming an instructor.

Here are your options for becoming a Krav Maga student, on an eventual path to being an instructor:

  • Enroll in a Local Krav Maga school – Find a qualified instructor in your area. Try a free class to get a feel for the instructors, curriculum, environment, and overall culture of the academy.
  • Attend a Krav Maga seminar – Some associations offer seminars or short training programs that introduce you to the style and give you the opportunity to get in-person training from time-to-time.
  • Enroll in an online Krav Maga school – Find a qualified and accredited online (or hybrid) Krav Maga school that lets you train and earn rank from a distance, such as the Global Martial Arts University’s Krav Maga course.

GMAU Krav Maga student program seal.
The Global Martial Arts University, the leader in online martial arts training,
is a premier option for learning Krav Maga on the web.

Step 2 – Train and Earn Rank in Krav Maga

Take your time learning and training in the style. Don’t consider that your goal is to someday teach the material you’re learning but, instead, to fully engage, use, and understand the Krav Maga methods and philosophy.

Teaching is an after-thought — a natural progression after you yourself have gone through the training. Be sure to take your first exam to achieve your Level 1 or Yellow Belt certification (various schools have different names for the first level).

With some Krav Maga associations, you’re eligible to attend an instructor-certification program right after you’ve earned your first level (as long as you hold an advanced rank in another martial art).

Other associations and schools, however, require that you first earn a brown or black belt in Krav Maga before you can become an instructor.

Some associations don’t have a student-rank requirement at all, and let you jump to instructor right away. You should avoid this approach because you won’t have any experience in training, and you won’t have mastered the material or embedded it into your muscle memory.

Source: Adobe Stock by Monkey Business

Step 3 – Find a Krav Maga Instructor-Certification Event

If you’ve already been training as a student for some time or have previous experience, you can now search for the right instructor-certification event to take part in.

The purpose of attending an instructor course is not just to learn the Krav Maga curriculum. After all, you should have already learned the curriculum in your own studies as a student.

An effective Krav Maga instructor course should also teach you the following things:

  • Principles of Teaching – Overarching principles that will make you an effective teacher, regardless of what subject you instruct.
  • Martial Arts Instructor Techniques – How to effectively teach a technique (the cycle of instruction), manage a classroom floor, execute warm ups and various types of drills, manage class formations, teach different age groups, work with student disabilities, motivate and correct students, provide tests and grading feedback, and many other aspects that are specific to martial arts.
  • Krav Maga Philosophy and Methods – How to not just teach a collection of Krav Maga techniques, but how to string together all movements into a fluid philosophy that students can truly understand at both physical and intellectual levels.
  • Class Planning, Curriculum, and Testing – How to plan effective, fun, and exciting classes. How to teach and follow a curriculum that keeps you consistent, while allowing for dynamic evolutions. And how to test and encourage students while maintaining high standards and a clear-cut path for advancement.
  • Basic Business Management and Krav Maga Class Implementation – How to introduce a new Krav Maga program, and different formats for instructing your target student base. This can vary greatly if you plan on teaching law enforcement, youth classes, or fitness-oriented programs to young adults.
  • Instructing Specific Techniques and Concepts – When you know the techniques, you’ll need to learn the nuances, variations, drills, and implementations for them within the curriculum you plan to instruct.

Source: Adobe Stock by sharafmaksumov

Step 4 – Join a Krav Maga Association

It’s important to think beyond the first Krav Maga instructor-certification event you attend. Ask yourself, which association is the best fit for me and my goals as a Krav instructor?

There are different types of associations, and each type offers a unique level of products and services:

  • Franchisors/Licensors – Large organizations that not only allow you to become an instructor, but to also open up a full-scale academy under their brand name. This option gives you full support in managing your Krav Maga school, advertising guidance, marketing advice, business systems, curriculum, and much more. It involves a large monetary investment upfront, as well as a sizeable monthly fee for all benefits ($500+ a month).
  • Business/Marketing + Instruction-Focused Associations – Mid-sized associations that have an emphasis on business-building ideas, marketing, sales, and the instruction of Krav Maga. These groups tend to charge a monthly fee ($150-300+) for you to stay active as an instructor in their organization, along with enjoying other benefits they provide.
  • Instruction + Curriculum-Focused Associations – These associations teach and support their certified instructors with a focus on the Krav Maga curriculum, high-quality instruction, and instructor support with no (or very low) ongoing fees. The Global Martial Arts Association Krav Maga division is a great example of this. It only charges a one-time, low-cost certification fee to become a part of the association. This is ideal for schools that simply want to add a Krav Maga program to their academy, or for personal trainers or gyms who want to add a new program without paying a large monthly fee.
Source: Adobe Stock by Rawf8

Step 5 – Attend A Krav Maga Certification Event

Now that you’ve been training as a student, earned rank, researched certification options, and done research on the association that you want to align yourself (and your school) with, it’s time to commit to an event.

You should attend a local, in-person instructor certification course to get hands-on guidance, feedback, and an intensive learning experience with certified instructors. This might be a two-day event, a one-week program, or something in between.

Study, prepare, and train hard at the event so you can pass!

Source: Adobe Stock by Cavan + Adobe

Step 6 – Begin Teaching Krav Maga!

Congratulations … you’ve done it! You’ve joined a small (but growing) group of honorable and determined individuals who value being top-ranked practitioners and certified teachers of this incredible self-defense system and way of life.

It’s now time to make plans to introduce a new Krav class or instructing in whatever format fits with your situation.

Source: Adobe Stock by guruXOX

Continue Training and Certify at the Next Instructor Level

Chances are you were certified in the first level. This means you can now begin to legitimately train, test, and rank your own students.

You need to continue learning the next levels of Krav Maga curriculum on your own, of course, and never stop training as a student.

You’ll also want to prepare for the next instructor course, so you can become certified to teach higher levels and stay active within your association.

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